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Gazidis rules out Wenger sack ‘nonsense’

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LONDON, England, September 19 – Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis rubbished criticism of under fire manager Arsene Wenger on Tuesday and ruled out any moves to replace the Gunners boss.

Wenger is currently enduring the most difficult period of his 15-year reign at Arsenal, having seen the club suffer a humiliating 8-2 defeat at Manchester United and winning only one of their first five games.

A 4-3 defeat at Blackburn on Saturday left Arsenal in 17th place, just one point above the relegation zone.

However Gazidis issued a rallying cry in defence of Wenger at the Sport Industry Breakfast Club meeting in London on Tuesday.

“He is not broken…he did not suddenly become a bad manager or somebody who became out of touch with the game. It is complete nonsense,” Gazidis.

“(Sacking him) is a route we are not going to go down.”

Wenger has been criticised for Arsenal’s strategy during the last transfer window, when the 11th hour departures of both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri left the club scrambling to make a flurry of late signings.

Wenger has also been criticised for an apparent unwillingness to sign players with large price tags, but Gazidis said the club was united in support of the Frenchman’s stance.

“Our strategy continues to be to focus on young players. We know we can’t go out and compete with the spending that’s out there and frankly, if we did, it would just push the spending to another level so it wouldn’t be a successful strategy,” Gazidis said.

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke was also squarely behind Wenger’s policy, Gazidis added.

“He is very supportive of the self-sustaining model and of Arsene Wenger,” Gazidis said.

“Throughout the transfer window, he was intimately involved in the discussions that we were having, understanding the strategy and giving his support to it.

“I think Arsene and I and the people at the club are very well supported by a good experienced owner.”

Meanwhile, Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez is set to resume training this week after avoiding serious injury in a late tackle by Ashley Cole in Sunday’s defeat of Chelsea, the player’s agent has confirmed.

Eduardo Hernandez said the Mexican international had suffered no more than a “bump” after the challenge by Cole which left United manager Alex Ferguson demanding a red card.

Ferguson had initially stated Hernandez was likely to be sidelined for two weeks following Cole’s tackle.

However, scans have revealed no serious damage, the striker’s agent said.

“Nothing, it’s just a bump, nothing more,” said Eduardo Hernandez.

“It looked like (his absence) was longer, they were looking for a fracture, that’s why they ran those tests on him.

“I expect him to be training without incident on Wednesday.”

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